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McGahn refused the White House to request that Trump not prevent justice from the Mueller report

Carol D. Leonnig The National Investigative Reporter Focused on the White House and Government Liability May 10 at 11:05 am President Trump tried to get former White House Council Donald McGahn issue a public statement last month that he did not believe the president had engaged in criminal behavior when he tried Exercise control over Russia's inquiry – an inquiry McGahn declined, according to people who were familiar with the episode. McGahn had told the specialized council's office that he did not believe that Trump's actions rose to the level of obstruction of justice, two people familiar with his interviews said. But Mueller's report concluded that there was great evidence that the president had engaged in obstruction of justice when he shot McGahn to help practice specialist councils Robert S. Mueller III. McGahn's view was not disclosed in the report. As Trump's lawyers are preparing for the publication of Mueller's report last month, the White House requested McGahn to issue a statement that published what he had said to Mueller's law, according to people familiar with the Discussions, who, like others commenting on that story , spoke on terms of anonymity. Emmet Flood, a white-house lawyer who handles the answer to the Mueller investigation, contacted McGahn lawyer William Burck on behalf of Trump and asked him to consider a statement when the report was released, they said. But Burck declined on behalf of McGahn, the people said, because lawyer William P. Barr had already concluded that there was insufficient evidence…

President Trump tried to get former White House Council Donald McGahn issue a public statement last month that he did not believe the president had engaged in criminal behavior when he tried Exercise control over Russia’s inquiry – an inquiry McGahn declined, according to people who were familiar with the episode.

McGahn had told the specialized council’s office that he did not believe that Trump’s actions rose to the level of obstruction of justice, two people familiar with his interviews said.

But Mueller’s report concluded that there was great evidence that the president had engaged in obstruction of justice when he shot McGahn to help practice specialist councils Robert S. Mueller III. McGahn’s view was not disclosed in the report.

As Trump’s lawyers are preparing for the publication of Mueller’s report last month, the White House requested McGahn to issue a statement that published what he had said to Mueller’s law, according to people familiar with the Discussions, who, like others commenting on that story , spoke on terms of anonymity.

Emmet Flood, a white-house lawyer who handles the answer to the Mueller investigation, contacted McGahn lawyer William Burck on behalf of Trump and asked him to consider a statement when the report was released, they said.

But Burck declined on behalf of McGahn, the people said, because lawyer William P. Barr had already concluded that there was insufficient evidence to accuse the president of criminal obstruction. Burck also concluded that there was no reason why McGahn was a witness to weigh in.

In a statement Friday night, Burck refused to delve into the discussions with Flood but said that the request from the White House was not wrong.

“We didn’t perceive it as any kind of threat or something unpleasant,” Burck said. “It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”

White House officials refused to comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on request to McGahn.

McGahns refusal to publish a statement seemed to annoy the president and some of his assistants, who believed that McGahn was unnecessarily disjointed, the people said.

After the release of the report, Trump McGahn attacked on Twitter and Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani began to hear questions about McGahn’s credibility and version of events. He told the Washington Post that McGahn would have left the White House if he thought Trump had engaged in a crime.

In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, Giuliani said that McGahn was “wrong” about what Trump asked him and “hopelessly confused.”

In connection with Giuliani’s public attack on McGahn, Burck contacted Belarus to complain that such claims were unwise, according to a person who knew the discussion.

The public fight was played out while the House Judiciary Committee charged McGahn for his actions and testimonies and threatened to keep him contemptuous if he did not.

Senior White House officials said they believe Trump will claim executive privilege to block the former White House’s advice from witnessing Capitol Hill.

Mueller did not accuse Trump of a crime in his final report and said he could not charge a seated president and instead chose to present the evidence he had collected. In several cases, the special adviser wrote that there was great evidence that the president was trying to prevent the probe, including in his interaction with McGahn.

In June 2017, McGahn told investigators that Trump called him home twice and urged him to call Deputy Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and urged him to remove Mueller due to conflicts of interest. McGahn prepared to retire at one point instead of performing Trump’s instructions.

In February 2018, Trump pressed McGahn to deny a news report that the president had pressured him to help renounce Mueller. Trump said he never said the word “fire”, as McGahn agreed was true, but McGahn said he strongly believed the president’s intentions and actions showed he wanted Mueller away.

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